Moncrieff~Bray Gallery 2007

Figures in the Landscape
Sculpture by Leonie Gibbs, Carol Peace and Paul Vanstone, 6 May to 17 June 2007
Leonie Gibbs, Paul Vanstone and Carol Peace are all sculptors who work within a strong figurative tradition on both a domestic and monumental scale.  In different ways their work draws strength and inspiration from the land in turn merging sympathetically into a rural or domestic landscape.

Leonie Gibbs has lived most of her life in Scotland. The Scottish landscape and its myths and legends as well as her love of wild animals have been the most formative influences on her work.  She is also fascinated by Greek and Egyptian myths.  Working in bronze her pieces are dynamic and posed for action inhabiting an imaginative world of story telling and heroism played out against the wild Scottish landscape.

By contrast, Carol Peace’s figures inhabit an inner world of self-reflection.  She derives her knowledge of the human body from detailed life drawings but when she models them in clay the figures come from her imagination reaching beyond mere depiction.  With their delicately balanced forms and rock like plinths the large-scale works relate to forms and volumes found in the landscape, their often elongated limbs and strange proportions lending them a surreal air. They invite the viewer to mediate on the human condition, the step from adolescence to adult hood or the vulnerability of a mother and child.

Paul Vanstone is fascinated by the material properties of his medium.  Recently he has abandoned modelling to work directly as a carver. Hunting down the right materials whether from Spain, Italy or Portugal is part of his creative process.  The physical properties of the stone are part of the language of the finished piece. His most recent work is executed in Thassos marble associated with the purity of ancient Greek sculpture.  In these drapery studies he is playing with formal qualities, pattern across a volume, the contrast between the hardness and coldness of the medium and the warm soft cloth.  The finished works have a drawn quality, a sense of line crossing volume, a delicate flow and balance.  Yet they still retain the rawness and power of the original block of marble quarried from earth.
The sculpture will be shown with Oona Campbell’s Sussex landscapes inside the gallery as well as in the open air.

He who reigns by Leonie Gibbs   Leaning by Carol Peace   Silk Torso by Paul Vanstone
Arts writer Elspeth Moncrieff set up the Moncrieff-Bray Gallery in 2005.  The gallery holds regular exhibitions of contemporary art and sculpture in a spectacular oak framed barn and surrounding garden and landscape. It is located on the A283 between Petworth and Pulborough approximately an hour and a quarter from central London. 

Further information:

Precious by Carol Peace
Stranger to me by Leonie Gibbs   Hermes Torso by Paul Vanstone

Beginning by John Terry

A poem by John Terry

Forget Genesis:
I arrived long before Adam-
Earth was without form 
and void
when I rose from its boiling crust
dragging half-molten
world-stuff that flowed
from my hips like a garment.

Stretched towards a belly of sky
I teased lightning’s crooked fingers
to fire new creation.

became Flamenco –
clinging magma flared
from my body,
rippled like incandescent silk
ruffled and flounced
into a full skirt.

Right arm raised,
left levelled with horizon.
I imagined red Cuban heels:
stamped the first step –

Solid earth formed
where my foot fell.

To a rattle of castanets
I danced shape into the world;
added colour; separated light
from darkness, water from land;
danced the swell of hills,
the bare height of mountains –

my swaying shape a pattern
for birch and willow. All life
rejoiced, clicked its heels –
danced to my rhythm.

John Terry

Based on a piece called Bliss

The sculpture was made in 2004 and shown at a retrospective at Paintworks in 2006, John spent some time at this show and wrote this poem about the piece.More of Johns work can be found at


Paintworks Retrospective 2006

A short film recording the private view and exhibition by John Minton.

Some images from the exhibition

Temporary studio space at Paintworks, moved studio back from London to huge space before my space became available. Used to roller skate round here sometimes. Mostly though it was a hugely productive time, on my own, no office there, no phone or emails or other studio members voices and distractions. I did Mother and Child, Do What?, Super Girl and Swimming Lesson in an office at the front beside a big window. This was 2005, I think it was the first time I really had the time and space to think about my work properly. Maybe that’s a bad thing! I am adding to this in 2011 and have just bought a mug that says ” Think less, Do more! “